Peanut Butter

Recently a reader reminded me about how peanut butter often contains vegetable oils. This is very true.

Simple peanut butter of ground peanuts and salt separates at room temperature and needs to be stirred together again or stored in the refrigerator. Manufacturers have discovered that by removing the peanut oil and adding in palm oil or hydrogenated soy oil that the peanut butter stays together at room temperature. As an added benefit they can sell peanut oil for quite a price.

I was always drawn to the sugary no stir varieties of peanut butter. This probably significantly contributed to my illness. I have also become sick from consuming baked goods and candy with peanut butter in them. The peanut butter is listed but what is in the peanut butter is not.

I have consumed Haagen dazs peanut butter chocolate ice cream without any problem. It lists peanut butter and peanut oil on the label.

As for peanut butter, I have eaten Adams all natural peanut butter with only peanuts and salt in the ingredients with no problem. They do have a no stir version that I accidentally bought once or twice that has oils added. It’s the only product I have ever called the number on. The lady laughed at me when I asked if there was any oil used in manufacturing. Needless to say I wasn’t inspired to call again.

Recently I have been buying the Kirkland brand of organic peanut butter that only lists peanuts and salt on the label. It’s really tasty, smoother than Adams and I can buy a lot of it at a time. One downside is you need a Costco membership.

The other brand I used to buy was MaraNatha Peanut Butter with only peanuts and salt on the label. I liked it because it was super smooth, but it was very expensive and because it was so tasty it would disappear really fast.

On their Q and A page when asked “Are Your Almond, Cashew and Macadamia Butters peanut-free?” The company answers:

“These butters do not contain peanuts, but currently all of our products are produced in the same facility using shared equipment. We perform an exhaustive clean-out between production runs, but we can not guarantee that our products are 100% free from any trace of peanuts or the other nuts that share the equipment. If you or your child has an anaphylactic allergy response to peanuts or tree nuts, and you have any questions about whether or not it is appropriate to use our products, consult your doctor”

I stopped buying the other peanut butters at my co-op after reading on one of the jars a warning about being made on shared equipment with soy oil. Even though none of the other jars mentioned soy oil, they did mention soy and I was unable to convince myself to call any of the manufacturers and ask about it.

MaraNatha does make a no stir variety of peanut butter with vegetable oils in it and if it is made on the same equipment as the all natural peanut butter there is a chance of cross contamination. Although I have not been sick from the brand I have chosen not to consume it since reading that. Since just a trace of oil will make me sick I am unwilling to risk it.

Our co-op does have a peanut butter grinder on site, unfortunately the peanuts in it are unsalted. I don’t enjoy unsalted peanut butter and it is very difficult to add the salt afterwards in the correct amount. So I don’t generally do that even if it is a safe option. I might in the future if I need to though.

Another way to make safe vegetable oil free peanut butter is to make it yourself in a blender. It is actually possible to burn out your blender motor this way my friend tells me. If buying be careful to read the label for both ingredients and warnings about shared equipment.

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3 Responses to Peanut Butter

  1. Sherry says:

    Also keep in mind, the FDA has now allowed manufacturers to not have to list any ingredients that are “used in the making of”. So that means even if an oil is used, it does not have to be listed. Manufactures use it to put fake sugars in food and drink, without having to list it as well. I make almost everything from scratch. When I’m unable to, I find oils that I can’t have, smell bad/off.

    • Sherry, I have read a lot about labeling laws in the US and it is true that some things used in the “making of” don’t have to be listed, for example: if there is “salt and peanuts” listed on a product if the manufacturer used peanuts with oil already on the peanuts and if it was less than 5% by weight of the final product, it would not have to be listed. That scenario is pretty likely with salt often adulterated with some sort of Flowing/anti-caking agent (I have a post about that here http://wp.me/p3KmWY-gK) At this point (2017) if the jar states “dry roasted peanuts” anywhere on it more than likely it is just peanuts with no oil. So if a jar of peanut butter says made with dry roasted peanuts and simply lists salt and peanuts on the label and dose not mention any shared equipment there is a reasonable certainty that oils were not actually added to the mix. Unfortunately that is as ‘safe’ as one can get in this day and age.

  2. You’re back up and running! Cool!

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